Zinfandel finding Croatian Roots
Zinfandel was a mystery wine, until it’s origins were finally discovered by the wine specialist who confirmed by DNA analysis that the red grape variety comes from Croatia. The Californian red grape was brought probably in mid-19th century from Vienna’s during the Habsburgs Monarchy that ruled Croatia’s territory at that time.
In the 19th century the country was hit by the wine epidemic called phylloxera that not only wiped out the wine cultures but also shook the wine industry on the Dalmatian islands that led to economic crisis and even emigration of islands population to South America. Island of Brac is famous for one of those emigration wave that got hit by the epidemic and many of the inhabitants today have cousins in Chile!
Our Zinfandel got Austrian name due to the Germanic influence at the time, but the study confirmed the authenticity. Croatian soil and genetic equivalency with the grape Crljenak Kaštelanski and Tribidrag. Also the grape is known under the Italian name Primitivo.
Big advocate of Croatian Zinfandel is Mike Grgich, Californian of Croatian origins that was convinced and afterward proved with the help of scientist that Zinfandel came from Croatia. He saw the similarities with wine leaves and pursue his quest. Grgich’s Californian wine cellar Grgich Hills produce world known Zinfandel and is responsible for modern wines renominated in the world.
Plavac Mali is a very famous rich, flavorful red wine both high in alcohol and grape tannin. It is produced in Dalmatia mostly on the islands of Hvar & Brac and Peljesac peninsula. These sites are known as sunniest places on the coast. The sun together with closeness of the sea, winds and air give the wine its structure and body.
And during the rainy days in USA you can visit the online wine shop of Madison Wine Cellar and order some of the Croatia’s finest.